Note: Lots of “Google” are going to follow; but I am not referring to the whole tech conglomerate, rather only Search part. Clear? Dive in!
In an earlier post, we discussed a good deal of tips and hacks to search efficiently. In other words, we learned a bit of Googfu (the art of searching well). We discussed how to search within an individual site, how to exclude a site from results, how to exclude a keyword, asking Google weather, learning about personality, direct answers and what not. But as you know it Google has underwent 15+ years of development, so it’s got lots hidden and lesser-known techniques. That’s why series is doing well, because it presently easily digestible content. Anyways, here is a list of 10 more tips and hacks for you.
#12 Exclude subdomain(s) from search results
Adding [-] hyphen to your search query tells Google to exclude the part alongside hyphen. This can be a useful technique for filtering results, especially for SEO analysts. Got more than one subdomains? But interested in finding out total indexed pages for root domain? Just exclude subdomains via inurl: operator, alongside an hyphen.
#13 Make Google your Maths teacher
More often than not, Google can be quite an insightful teacher. Try searching “x+y^2” (without quotes), you will find a beautiful 3D illustration of said Mathematical query. Not only that Google can be your calculator. Just either search for “calculator” or type a mathematical query, but since the mathematical aspect of search engine is still under development, it is limited to a few types of calculations: arithmetic, functions, physical constants’ values and base & representative conversion.
#14 Sports’ fanatic? Well, Google tells scores too!
If you will search for India vs Sri Lanka, you will find an scoreboard for a recently held cricket match between the two teams. The basic syntax is this: [team] vs [team], just replace the names of teams and Google will do the rest. Not only that it will also report you on whereabouts of match; like when & where it was held, who scored how much and most importantly, who won. These scoreboards are not static ones and when a match is happening in real-time, not yet finished, you will find results being updated LIVE.
#15 100 blue links/page? Yes!
There’s a lesser-known way to increase the number of results per page. You can find this option in Search Settings page, scroll to Results per page section and drag the slider as per your likeness. Of course, the greater the number of results per page, greater will be the load on page, therefore be wary of slow pages.
#16 Search exact terms
When you do a search query of phrases like “online racing games” (without quotes), Google won’t search it exactly. It won’t e exact-match phrase search query, which essentially looks up for keywords from search query separately then sum all results and present you. To search for exact-match phrases, you need to put search query in quotes. This can be extremely useful to find duplicates as well as near duplicates. A handy technique for SEOs; who can find out duplicate content by searching exact-match phrases from their own content.
#17 Find all indexed pages from a website
The site: operator can also be used to find out the total of pages indexed from a domain. Same goes for subdomains, https-limited pages and directories.
#18 Do voice search
You might be familiar with voice search already, but if you’re not, here goes TL;DR: You can speak your search query to Google. Initially started as an Android feature to give commands to the OS via vocal commands, it evolved into Search by Voice or Google Voice Search. It is a feature that’s now merged with Google Now, Google’s personal digital assistant available for both Android & computers. Yes, it supports more than one language. You will just need to choose 5 languages and Voice by Search will automatically detect the language being spoken.
#19 Search by image
Whether you’re looking for a larger & better resolution image, or similar images Search by Image feature can be handy. Either give it address of image or upload it, it will work just fine.Whether the image is from web or from your last trip, chances are that there are similar images available on the web. Not only Google searches for similar images, but it tries to define image, find sites with target image and retrieve different sizes of the image. This feature is also called Reverse Image Search.
#20 Search within title
If you’re a webmaster, most likely your content is going to be plagiarized, right? Google can be to find out if someone copied your content, but of course, if that copied webpage is not indexed, it won’t be found via Google (at least). intitle: is that search operator you can use to search for search query within the <title> </title> tags of pages. Quotes are essential for exact-match duplicates.
#21 Get results from a particular TLD
Again site: operator has another use, which is that you can just specify a particular TLD or suffix. Doing so will limit results from the specified TLD only. Can be handy for SEO analysts especially.
#22 Looking for PDF about HIV? Google this!
Google indexes content of more than one types. From HTML pages to PDFs and SVGs, it has got it all indexed, unsurprisingly. Did you know that you can tell Google which formats to search for and which not for, did you? Well, now you do. If you’re looking for whitepaper on HIV treatment, you can tell Google to only present you with PDFs. You can also exclude PDFs, if you want.
Of course, Google has many other techniques that help narrowing down our searches. But this list is not extensive and lacks many other techniques. If you know other tips, please do share them in comments. You will be given credit when a new list of tips and hacks is compiled. Googfu is fun, ain’t it?